Economics serving society

Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee to join ENS-PSL and PSE for the 2020–2021 academic year

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Press release - Paris, September 18, 2020

Professors Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, winners of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019, have accepted an invitation to become visiting research and teaching scholars at the Paris School of Economics (PSE) and the Université Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) for the 2020-21 academic year.

Professor Abhijit Banerjee will be Research Professor at PSL and affiliated with the Economics department at the École normale supérieure (ENS). Professor Duflo will be Visiting Professor at ENS - PSL. They will both conduct their research at PSE within the CNRS unit.

“By working together, our institutions were able to offer these colleagues a research environment befitting their work and their talent,” enthused Alain Fuchs, President of PSL. “In deciding to accept our invitation, they have affirmed the international appeal of our university and the excellent quality of the economics research being done in France, and at PSE and ENS in particular.”

For PSE Director Jean-Olivier Hairault, “Having Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee as part of our research and learning community is a wonderful opportunity for the institution, the students, and the researchers.” He sees their stay as a concrete example of the working partnership with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), whose European regional office is based at PSE, adding that the Nobel Prize winners will thus be “extending existing and ongoing collaboration with many PSE researchers.”

ENS Director Marc Mézard is also thrilled by the arrival of Abhijit Banerjee, and the return of Esther Duflo to ENS (a 1992 graduate of their Liberal Arts program). He admires the intellectual and moral example that these two scholars set for students and young people increasingly sensitive to global challenges, citing, for example, from Duflo’s inaugural lecture at ENS this week: “What can I do to pay back the enormous debt I owe the world for being lucky enough to be born where I was born, and to have studied what I have studied before becoming part of a school such as this? (15.09.2020)

The results of the research done by Duflo and Banerjee are intended to be shared as widely as possible. In their latest book, Good Economics for Hard Times (published in French translation by Seuil in 2020), they discuss and underline “the importance of doing innovative, interdisciplinary research, and of putting economics to work for human dignity.”


Press contacts
TBWA\Corporate (for PSL) : Julia Djimet – 06 45 68 42 72 – julia.djimet
PSE : Sylvain Riffé Stern – 01 80 52 17 09 – sylvain.riffe
ENS-PSL : O’Len Gaultier – 06 32 68 46 62 – olen.gaultier

About PSL
Located in the heart of Paris, PSL inspires dialogue among all areas of knowledge, innovation, and creativity in Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, Engineering and the Arts. Selective and committed to equal opportunity, it draws directly from current research to train researchers, entrepreneurs, artists and managers who are aware of their social responsibility, both individual and collective. With 2,900 researchers, 17,000 students, 140 laboratories and 10 incubators, fab labs and co-working spaces, PSL is a human-scale university. It ranks among the world’s top 50 universities according to the Shanghai, THE (Times Higher Education), CWUR and QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings.

Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art dramatique - PSL | Dauphine - PSL | École nationale des chartes - PSL | École nationale supérieure de Chimie de Paris - PSL | École nationale supérieure des Mines de Paris - PSL | École normale supérieure - PSL | École Pratique des Hautes Études - PSL | ESPCI Paris - PSL | Observatoire de Paris - PSL | Collège de France, Institut Curie | CNRS, Inserm, Inria

About PSE
The Paris School of Economics is ranked first among European economics research departments, and fifth in the world (1). It was selected by the French Investment for the Future programme (known as PIA3) as a “University research school” (EUR). PSE develops research, teaches Masters and Doctorate programmes, promotes exchanges between economics and other social sciences, contributes to economic policy debates, and puts its academic work at the service of the society. PSE brings together around 140 researchers and 150 PhD students. It was founded by the CNRS, the École des Ponts-ParisTech, the EHESS, the ENS-PSL, the INRAE and the University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne.
(1) Repec :

About the École normale supérieure - PSL
At the same time a French grande école and a university, the École normale supérieure - PSL provides in Paris, at the heart of the Quartier latin, excellent training through research, leading to various teaching and research professions, and contributes to train through research the senior executives of public administrations as well as of French and European companies. The ENS also defines and applies scientific and technological research policies, from a multidisciplinary and international perspective. Intellectual freedom, multidisciplinary in humanities and sciences, individual attention to students, bountiful campus life, gathering students and professors from all disciplines, form the heart of the specificities of the École normale supérieure. Since more than 2 centuries, the ENS - PSL prepares its students to the most various openings and the highest responsibilities, while being fully invested in the intellectual, scientific and cultural debates of its time – in particular through the multiplicity of the normaliens’ engagement.